Web Design Post 1

Here are the three websites that I personally feel serve their purposes well:

1. Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org)

2. BBC News (www.bbc.com/news)

3. The Microsoft Site (microsoft.com)


The purpose of Wikipedia is to inform. Just by looking at this single aspect, its huge database already proved itself fabulous. Not only that, Wikipedia gives various suggestions for similar topics. When the sites get too lengthy, there is a rectangular box on the right hand side of the page that summarizes the general information about the content.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.50.45 am

Near the informative panel is another table that says “Contents”. It redirects you to a part of that page containing more specific information.Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.53.51 am

BBC News

BBC News’ purpose is to obviously supply the reader with news stories. It serves its purpose by putting the top news story on the home page, and images to go with it. One thing I like about the layout is that the different panels are all very clean-cut, meaning that the edges of the different panels line up. The navigation bar on the top stands out from the rest because it is red while the background is white. Personally, I think that they should make the navigation bar follow the user as he scrolls down.


The Microsoft site informs people about their products, and gives them methods to buy them. The color theme for the website is a consistent blue, expressed in various different shades. The combination of colors is very appropriate and appeals to the eye. The search bar at the top allows users to easily search for what they want, and the main page is also very flashy. On the bottom of the website, there are lists of quick related links that are categorized, which I also think is nice


American Born Chinese

Book Equivalent #14 Words: 8229 Date: 20/1

Title: American Born Chinese Author: Gene Luen Yang

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Comic


Opening Sentence:

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “Nice Punch.”



Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

Reading this book is quite relaxing as there aren’t many words. However, sometimes, I do stay on a page for a while just to examine the different elements Gene Luen Yang uses in a comic. Personally, I think that the transitions between panels are really smooth, which is another reason why it is relaxing to read. Another thing that I like about American Born Chinese is its art style. It is very clean-cut, and it uses many contrasts in color, which appeals to the eye.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Book Equivalent #12&13 Words: 74277 Date: 20/1

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson Author: John Green & David Levithan

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Young adult fiction

Opening Sentence: When I was little, my dad used to tell me, “Will, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: man: my name is also Will Grayson. And I appreciate you, Tiny Cooper!

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Namesake (n.)

A person with the same name as another

Transgression (n.)

Synonym: breach

Antonym: perfection

the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle

bereft (adj.)

sorrowful through loss or deprivation

Synonym: bereaved

Antonym: full

cynical (n.)

believing the worst of human nature and motives

Synonym: ironic

Antonym: optimistic

stoic (adj.)

seeming unaffected by pleasure or pain; impassive

Synonym: sober

Antonym: caring

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is very humorous and satisfying to read. Two completely different people meeting completely coincidentally in the most unlikely place possible, and from that point onward, their lives took unexpected twists and turns that I would never expect. I felt quite sad when Will Grayson’s friend, Tiny, started drifting apart from him. Best buddies since fifth grade, and within days, their friendship is breaking down. Thankfully, though, in the end, they didn’t let it fall apart. I find that sometimes it can happen to me and my friends. Over the summer, we feel like strangers, and occasionally, we both make other friends, and our friendship is sometimes just forgotten.

Looking For Alaska


Book Equivalent #11 Words: 69023 Date: 20/1

Title: Looking For Alaska Author: John Green

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Young adult fiction


Opening Sentence: The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home.”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

endeavor (n. )

Synonym: aim

Antonym: idleness

a purposeful or industrious undertaking

incredulous (adj.)

not disposed or willing to believe; unbelieving

Synonym: unbelieving

Antonym: believing

extricate (v.)

release from entanglement of difficulty

Synonym: liberate

Antonym: connect

nonchalantly (adv.)

in a composed and unconcerned manner

Synonym: indifferently

Antonym: hastily

fervent (adj.)

characterized by intense emotion

Synonym: ardent

Antonym: apathetic

inimitable (adj.)


Synonym: incomparable

Antonym: matchable

abide (v.)

put up with something or somebody unpleasant

Synonym: tolerate

Antonym: disallow


Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

Looking For Alaska made me feel connected to the characters as I read along, simply because there the characterizations are so smartly put and John Green’s word choices perfectly match with the characters. Reading this book, I realized how different our classmates may be from us, no matter background, characteristics, etc. So in the future, we may not even be together or even see each other, and that’s why we should treasure every single moment we have together. In the book, I find that Miles and the Colonel are actually two completely different people in life: Miles is just a hardworking kid who comes from a fairly wealthy and happy family, while the Colonel comes from a poor family, and had to go grow up without his dad. These two people will definitely rarely meet each other further on with life, but the thing they share is their memories together. Their school life, the pranks, the weekday warriors, and most of all, the night they let Alaska go…

The Eye Of Minds-Book Report

Book Equivalent #9&10 Words: 72103 Date: 10/1

Title: The Eye Of Minds Author: James Dashner

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Science Fiction

Opening Sentence: Michael spoke against the wind, to a girl named Tanya

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “Who knows the true definition of real?”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Chided (v.)
To scold someone gently.

Archaic (adj.)
Old; no longer used; relating to ancient times.

Faux (n.)

Anomalies (n.)
Something that is unusual or unexpected

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

James Dashner, the author of The Maze Runner series, comes up with yet another amazing and creative story. I liked the story from the beginning: who isn’t a fan of a futuristic, virtual world? Further into the story, the conflict became obvious, so Michael and his friends embark on a dangerous quest to take on the cyber-terrorist Kaine. The twist at the end really shocked me, and made me want to immediately read the rest of the series. The ending was like an answer for all the doubts and mysteries that were never explained throughout the rest of the book, yet it brought out more questions for the readers.


The Prank Machine


Our project is a prank machine. When someone accidentally touches the touch sensor, a series of mechanics will be carried out to scare that person. 

How it works

When the button is pushed, a motor will rotate to kick a ball. The ball travels on a track and comes to a halt on top of a color sensor which senses light intensity. Since the ball is right on top of the light sensor, it will send a signal to the EV3. the Ev3 is connected to a motor on a car, so it causes the car to move forward. The car pushes over a box, making a loud sound when the box slams onto the ground.

Challenges we faced

One challenge we faced was involving pushing over the box. At first, the car was unable to push over the box because the wheels are preventing the car from falling. We fixed the problem by extending the arm of the vehicle that pushes the box over. This eventually worked, and the box was successfully pushed over.

Another problem was building a proper track for the ball. At the beginning, we only built the simple contraption of the first part, which is a series of gears that gear up that causes the ball to kicked harder. We did it without adding any supports, not the track of the ball that makes it go in a certain direction since we were eager to move on to the next part and see the big picture once we were done. However, when we were done with everything, we had to face this problem. We decided to build a platform for the contraption so there will be more gravitational potential energy for the ball to convert to kinetic energy.

Another problem followed: How were we going to make the car receive the signal? We connected the cable of the color sensors to the car, so that when the car drives, it drags along the sensor.



I think the area we did well in was our collaboration. In the process, we communicated with each other to decide who is responsible for doing what. Jude is responsible for coding, and I am responsible for building the pieces. Something we need to improve on is our planning.  We should spend more time planning as it would give us a clearer picture of what we’re building and how we’re going to build it.

Clay Pot Final Reflection

1) What was the starting point for your sculpture and what techniques did you find helpful in constructing your pot?

I started by drawing and cutting out my clay pot on an A4 paper. Then, I built a base according to my drawing. I made the thickness of the base vaguely the same thickness as a cookie, because that way, it would be appropriate for firing and aesthetically pleasing. My clay pot was based off a Greek pot for pouring water, except mine was a little bit wider and shorter.

2) How is your pot a personal expression of your ideas? (Think about what makes your pot unique compared to others)

Since it is handmade by me, my style of making the clay pot can really be shown just by looking at the clay pot. This is because every movement I make will make the clay pot different, and with the combination of things I do to my clay pot, it would really differ from others. Whereas, when a machine makes a clay pot, it is designed to do the exact same thing every time.

3) Is pottery still a relevant form of art today? Agree or disagree and please explain why. I definitely agree.

In my opinion, anything that is creative is art, and some pots I saw on the internet blew my mind with the creative textures, shapes, forms, color, etc. Some of the creative pots that I saw online include those:

                           4) Look at the following link about the artist, Li Lihong: http://www.hollistaggart.com/artists/thumbs/li-lihong/0/thumbs What message does Lihong convey in his work? Provide an example and upload a photo of one of his works. Does Lihong focus more on the form or function of his sculptures? Explain how that is evident in his work. Explain how you have focused more on the form or function of your piece (or perhaps both).  

This is one of the sculpture by Lihong, called “Absolute China”. I think that the title itself is pretty smart, because he made the chinas out of “Absolute Vodka” bottles, and called his work absolute china. I think that the mixing the Russian and Chinese culture purposefully (ie. Vodka originated from Russia) to create a sense of internationality. His sculpture is definitely more focused on “form” than “function”. Of course, I’m sure that the chinas can be functional if people really want to use them, but that defeats the whole purpose of “internationality”. In my piece, I think that it is also more form that function. This is because my sculpture may leak water, and even if it doesn’t, it is quite hard to pour liquids out as there aren’t any handles. Instead, my sculpture represents the Greek styled pots, and focuses on the shape of it.

Final Project Formative Post

Our group’s idea is to build a “robotic domino”, where an action leads to a series of different mechanics that trigger one by one. The section of our project is a touch sensor which trigger an engine, which is linked to gears that gear up. Gearing up increases the speed of the rotation, which is good in this case because we are getting the motor to kick a ball. The ball in this section links to the next section in our project.

The dynamic ball triggers another motion sensor. The motion sensor is linked to a car, so when the motion sensor is triggered, the car starts moving. The moving car pushes over a box.

One challenge we faced is involving pushing over the box. At first, the car was unable to push over the box because the wheels are preventing the car from falling. We fixed the problem by extending the arm of the vehicle that pushes the box over. This eventually worked, and the box was successfully pushed over.

Our inspiration of the project is from prank machines. A typical example would be when somebody opens a door, the movement of the door makes a bucket of water pour down his head. From there, we came up with the idea of building a robotics domino.

Book Report-The Foundation Series

Book Equivalent # Words:



Title: Author: Isaac Asimov

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Science fiction

Opening Sentence: His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

Aimless extension of knowledge, however, which is what I think you really mean by the term curiosity, is merely inefficiency. I am designed to avoid inefficiency.

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response:

I read this series by Isaac Asimov from the start of school all the way until now, and is still reading it. My dad first suggested me to read this, since it had won the Hugo Award a couple times, but I was reluctant. I have to say, though, that my reluctance was foolish.

More than 20000 years into the future, humans have already populated all over the Milky Way. However, a man named Hari Seldon discovered the shocking truth with a “psychohistory”, in other words foreknowledge , that the galactic empire will perish. He set up two “foundations” on the edge of the Milky Way, hoping that it would help to save humanity with the prediction of his psychohistory. More than 20000 years of history, collapsing within a century. It wasn’t planetary wars, but the tyranny of the king. However, the foundations did survive, and they did just fine. There was something Seldon didn’t take into consideration. He didn’t account for any genetic mutation. About 500 years after the foundation, someone who can mind read, and even alter others’ emotions, invaded the foundation. People called them “Mule” due to how determined he was. He turned enemies to allies without even breaking a sweat, making them loyal to him. However, that was when the second foundation, another group of people who could alter minds, showed up. They battled with Mule, and at the end defeated him.

More time passed. Centuries have passed since Mule, and the Seldon Plan was on track perfectly. A young politician was banished permanently from the planet of the foundation with the excuse of “helping a historian find humans’ origin”. They knew that there was a planet called Earth which people evolved from, but they just didn’t know where. They embarked on an incredible journey to find Earth, travelling to ancient worlds to search for clues. Upon arriving an ancient, mythical world named Gaea, they were forced to land, and realised that the people had special abilities just like Mule, except their mind power were all combined, so it was much stronger than Mule’s. The banished politician had to make a choice that possibly decided the fate of humanity, because according to the people of Gaea, he was the only one who could make that choice because they sensed that he had an unique mind. To choose to continue with the Seldon Plan, to follow the second foundation’s lead, or to let Gaea take over, making every planet like Gaea. At the last second, the politician chose Gaea , because an idea sparked in his head, a reason which would let him choose Gaea. He lost grasp of the idea, however, and was determined to find out what the idea was. He felt somehow that he would find the answer once he found Earth, so the historian and him continued the search. After countless encounters of dangerous situations, they finally found the planet Earth, only to find out that Earth was uninhabitable anymore due to severe radiation. Just as they were about to leave with nothing but disappointment, the protagonist thought about visiting the Earth’s satellite. There, they found the answer – a robot who was over 20000 years old greeted them on moon, explaining everything to them.

Although I am sure that my summary  has made the series of Foundation sounded a lot worse that it actually is, I still really encourage everybody to read it. Isaac Asimov kept surprising me on just how much imagination a man from the 20th centuries had. I realised that I can see reference to almost every sci-fi book I read in this book. Since this book was written earlier than all the other sci-fi books I read, I am sure the authors have all read this series and got inspiration from it.

Final Reflection Architectural Form

  1. Upload photos showing various angles of your final sculpture (architectural or mechanical design). Show the scale somehow (i.e. stand next to it in the photo).
  2. Upload a photo of the work of a different group in class
  3. What was your inspiration and were you able to achieve your original vision? Why or why not?
  4. What helped you to be creative with your design? (think about restrictions in material, time, compromises made)
  5. What is the quality of construction like? What areas of improvement could you make?
  6. What is the function or intended purpose of your sculpture?
  7. Compare your work to that of a different group.  What new ideas could you include from studying the work of a different group?

Our inspiration was The Bank of China. In fact, this architectural build is supposed to be a replica of The Bank of China. We were able to achieve our original version, because since we just had to try to replicate The Bank of China, we didn’t face many difficulties on the way.

Our design isn’t “creative” per se because the bank of china is realistic. However, we built the piece very steadily, as we made the centerpiece consist of 4 popsicle sticks. Also, we arranged our pieces very orderly, so it fits almost perfectly with each other. We tested the steadiness of our sculpture, and it was very steady.

Our intended purpose is for showcasing.